ORANGEBURG, SC - Alan Burnsed and Colin Camarigg each homered in the top of the 11th inning to lift Florida Southern College baseball to a 4-2 win over Claflin on Friday evening at historic Mirmow Field. The Moccasins (10-8) nearly had the game won before extra innings, but the Panthers (12-5) plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to erase a 2-0 deficit before Burnsed unloaded on a 1-1 pitch in the 11th to give the Mocs a 3-2 lead, and Camarigg added an insurance run when he hammered 2-0 pitch to make the final 4-2.
Leo Rodriguez (1-0) picked up his first career win by tossing 3.2 innings in relief, the longest outing of his Florida Southern career, and striking out eight batters. Cooper Bradford put together one of his best starts of the year, striking out nine in 7.1 innings, before allowing two runs (one earned) in the eighth. Burnsed finished 3-for-4 at the plate, while Camarigg, Vaun Brown, Ricky Gonzalez, and Jacob Teter each had a pair of hits.
The Moccasins and Panthers will play game two of their three-game weekend series tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Mirmow Field. The series concludes with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Neither team was able to get much going offensively in the early innings as both squandered several chances in the first three frames. Florida Southern was able to put Claflin starter Dillon Parker on the ropes in the fourth when two runners reached after Zach Scott walked and Teter was hit by a pitch, but Parker was able to strike out Christian Maglich to end the threat.
- The Mocs had another chance to score with two on and two out in the sixth, but Ricky Gonzalez flew out to center field after a seven-pitch at-bat. Bradford cruised through the bottom of the sixth by striking out the final two batters of the inning, and Southern capitalized in the top of the seventh after Isaiah Cullum walked to lead things off and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
- Burnsed singled in the next at-bat to put runners on the corners with no outs, and Brown hit a sacrifice fly to center that plated the game's first run. After another 1-2-3 inning for Bradford in the bottom of the seventh, the Mocs scored again in the eighth when Maglich singled with two outs, advanced on a wild pitch, and came around to score on Gonzalez's double to make it 2-0.
- Claflin rallied in the eighth after Eric McElveen reached first and advanced to second on Camarigg's throwing error. McElveen scored on Jalen Sprull's single two batters later, and Sprull came around to tie the game on an RBI double from Craig Hopkins that chased Bradford from the mound. With a runner on second and just one out, Rodriguez put a second runner on when he hit Edzaviah Paul with a pitch but was able to escape the inning without further damage by recording a fly out and strikeout to end the inning.
- After a scoreless ninth, Florida Southern had a golden opportunity to plate the go-ahead run when Teter singled, advanced to second on a ground out, and moved to third on a wild pitch with two outs. But Gonzalez flew out to center to end the inning as the scored remained 2-2.
- Rodriguez struck out the side on just 14 pitches in the bottom of the 10th to open the door for Burnsed and Camarigg, who each launched solo shots in the top of the 11th. Burnsed's go-ahead homer came with one out, while Camarigg tacked on an insurance run with two away. Rodriguez issued a walk with two outs in the bottom of the inning but struck out Clyde Parker to slam the door shut.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Florida Southern improved to 13-0 all-time against Claflin, including a 7-0 mark when facing the Panthers on the road. The team have met for a three-game series in each of the previous four seasons. This is the second-straight year that the Mocs have gone on the road to face Claflin.
- Rodriguez set a new career-high for innings pitched (3.2) and strikeouts (8). He has now recorded 19 strikeouts in 11 innings of work this year while walking just four batters and allowing just five hits. Rodriguez has yet to surrender a run this year.
- Teter has reached base safely in all 18 games this season. He has a hit in 14 games, including each of the last eight. Teter is batting .433 with four homers and 14 RBI during that stretch and has also drawn five walks.
- The teams continue their three-game series with a 3 p.m. game on Saturday and wrap up the weekend with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday. Florida Southern will host Flagler at home on March 12 (6 p.m.) before playing its next seven on the road.